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Jumpman is a platform game that features thirty unique levels where the player must defuse all of the bombs on screen by running into them. In all levels, the player can run, jump, climb ladders, and use ropes that will either move up or down. The only enemy in most levels is a white dot (or "bullet") that can fire at the player in a straight line from on or off screen.
Jumpman's difficulty stems largely from the fact that jumps could not be controlled at all, and that there was little room for error. A fall of even a single block height would kill the player, and many jumps required getting to a very precise location. The difficulty in Jumpman could be varied by altering the Run Speed of the level, which controlled the speed at which the player and enemies moved. Run Speed 8 was extremely slow, while Run Speed 1 provided a significant challenge to even the simplest levels by making the game very difficult to control. Unlike Jumpman Junior however, the run speed could be changed on a per-level basis by holding down the corresponding number button before your character spawned.
Many of the levels in Jumpman made changes to the mechanics of the game, and introduced new concepts to challenge players. The levels were arranged in three tiers: Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert, and could be played in order by tier, in order beginning to end, or in random order. The game would end when the level playlist completed, or the player ran out of lives. The following is a list of the levels in the game, along with a brief description:
- Easy Does it: A simple introductory level that uses only the basic mechanics
- Robots I: Three enemy robots are on screen that will kill the player on contact. The robots are stationary until the player touches a bomb, at which point they move to their next predetermined location.
- Bombs Away: Bombs drop from the top of the level.
- Jumping blocks: Instead of the bullet, floating blocks fire at the player, and force jumpman to jump whenever he is hit (which can easily force a player off a ledge)
- Vampire: Several bats hang from the level ceilings. One bat begins moving after each bomb is collected.
- Invasion: UFOs descend from the top of the screen and chase the player, who can now shoot instead of jumping.
- Grand Puzzle I: Collecting bombs changes the layout of the level, allowing players to build ladders from segments that they collect. This is one of the few levels where it is not necessary to collect all the bombs on screen
- Builder: The level starts off mostly empty, but each bomb collected adds more elements to the screen
- Look Out Below: Whenever the player touches a bomb, a predetermined part of the level falls.
- Hot Foot: Whenever the player jumps, a small explosion is set off, destroying part of the platform.
- Runaway: After the first bomb is collected, the remaining bombs begin moving around the level.
- Robots II: Four robots chase the player around the level in a fixed pattern
- Hailstones: Instead of firing at the player, bullets fall from the top of the level and bounce on the ground. They are able to fall through platforms after a few bounces.
- Dragon Slayer: Two dragons chase the player, who throws spears instead of jumping
- Grand Puzzle II: Collecting bombs changes the layout of the level, allowing players to access bonus treasures.
- Ride Around: An uncontrollable moving platform carries the player to different parts of the screen
- The Roost: Three chickens are on screen, and fly at the player whenever a bomb is collected. Similar to Vampire, but with faster and more accurate enemies
- Roll Me over: The player is chased by rolling barrels, which can traverse ropes and ladders
- Ladder Challenge: The player needs to ride a large moving ladder to reach different parts of the level
- Figurit: Whenever a bomb is collected, the layout of the level changes, including disappearing platforms
- Jump-N-Run: Instead of the usual single bullet, there are four attacking at once
- Freeze: On screen enemies chase the player, but instead of killing on contact, they freeze the player in place for a few seconds, leaving them more vulnerable to the bullet
- Follow The Leader: Enemy clones spawn behind the player whenever a bomb is collected and follow the player around the level
- Jungle: A level that features several ropes
- Mystery Maze: The level is initially completely dark, and is slowly revealed as the player moves around
- Gunfighter: Similar to Invasion, the player can shoot rather than jump. In this level Jumpman is chased by two enemies with guns.
- Robots III: Four enemy robots chase the player around the level
- Now You See It…: Each time a bomb is collected, part of the level becomes invisible, however invisible elements can still be used provided the player can locate them
- Going Down: A level featuring a large elevator
- Grand Puzzle III: The final level, which features several secret bonuses depending on the order in which the bombs are collected